Sweet Potatoes are normally really expensive here, so when the price drops, I buy up loads of them. Usually, being a tuber, they last pretty well. This time though, that meant using up 4 kilos of sweet potatoes fast. After putting a couple in a few other dishes and still having a mountain of them to use, I chopped off the ugly bits and made soup. As often happens, I didn't have a very clear idea when I started of where I was heading with this soup, but I am really happy with where it ended up, so thought I'd share. I had thought maybe I would go a big veggie soup direction, or maybe cream of sweet potato soup, or something coconutty. The Fromage Blanc was the last from my most recent batch of homemade cheese, and the chives were the only ones that poked their heads through this year. The pot looked rather like a bald man's head with only a few green hairs sprinkled around. I used chicken stock as I had some from a recent chicken dish, but veggie stock would have worked well too. It all came together very nicely though!
For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 onions, chopped
4 cm ginger, diced
2 - 2,5 kg sweet potatoes, chopped
4 c chicken stock
1 tsp Urfa Biber
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 - 1 1/2 c corn
Salt and pepper to taste
for the red pepper paste:
1 red pepper
1 red chilli pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 onion, chopped
For the fromage blanc
3/4 c fromage blanc (or cream cheese)
2-3 tbsp fresh chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1) Place red pepper and chilli in the oven, whole at 200°C for 20-30 minutes, until the red pepper is soft and starting to char.
2) In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion and ginger.
3) Add sweet potato and stock. Add water until the sweet potatoes are just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 - 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft.
4) Using a hand blender, blitz soup until it is most of the way smooth. Add corn, Urfa and nigella seeds.
5) Meanwhile, remove peppers from the oven and blitz in a blender with the onion, olive oil and vinegar. (I used olive oil left over from preserving my Cabécou Goat's cheese).
6) In a bowl, mix the fresh cheese, chives, garlic powder and salt.
7) Serve the soup hot, with dolloping options of fresh cheese and red pepper paste.
I am really happy with this soup. Having the fresh cheese and the red pepper paste on the side meant we were each able to spice it up or make it creamy according to our own tastes. This also continues the trend of keeping spicy things on the side so that Little Bit can eat the same meal as us. He wanted corn from the tin while I was cooking, so I ended up needing more corn than anticipated, but then he offered me 5 kernels for the soup. Individually of course. He was very proud of his contribution too! The fresh cheese was very tasty, and I enjoyed the creaminess as it melted into the soup, but the soul also works really well without it. The red pepper paste is tasty in its own right, and I am happy to have it around for other purposes too. I like happy accidents in cooking!